Press Releases

         17 February 2005

    In Message to Kyoto Protocol Ceremony, Secretary-General Calls on World Community to ‘Be Bold’, Quickly Take Next Steps Against Climate Change

    NEW YORK, 16 February (UN Headquarters) -- Following is the text of Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s video message on the entry into force of the Kyoto Protocol, 16 February:

    Today we celebrate the entry into force of the Kyoto Protocol.

    This is a great stride forward in our struggle to confront one of the biggest challenges we face in the twenty-first century:  climate change.

    Scientists continue to tell us that the first signs of climate change are already visible.  If this challenge is not addressed, sustainable development will be out of reach.

    Climate change is a global problem.  It requires a concerted global response.  The Kyoto Protocol provides a truly global framework.  And from today, it is legally binding on the rapidly increasing number of countries that are party to it.

    From now on, industrialized countries that are party to the Protocol have a clear obligation to reduce emissions.  To do so, they can use the market to trade a new commodity:  carbon.  

    The Protocol will also generate resources for developing countries, to help them deal with climate change.

    Today marks an important first step in the right direction.  We must now use the Protocol to move towards a less carbon-intensive world economy -– one that gives the right incentives for investment in climate-friendly technologies.

    But by itself, the Protocol will not save humanity from the dangers of climate change.

    So let us celebrate today, but let us not be complacent.  

    I call on the world community to be bold, to adhere to the Kyoto Protocol, and to act quickly in taking the next steps.  There is no time to lose!

    Thank you very much.

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